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Monday, December 03, 2012

 

David and Bathsheba, a very modern story.

This is a story of great men behaving despicably.
 
It’s a fascinating story for several reasons, but one of them is that it's such a modern story.  It could be told of men and women today. It’s the story of a hero who achieves fame and power. He finds an attractive woman who just happens to be married to someone else and seduces her.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,
3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.


The woman gets pregnant, this was before the government passed out free birth control.
5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
So we need a cover-up. The husband is away at war and gets called back home and is encouraged to go to his house and to sleep with his wife so that he can be fooled into thinking the baby is his. But he's committed to his king and to his buddies in the army so he refuses.
6 So David sent this word to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent him to David.
7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
8Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him.
9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master's servants and did not go down to his house.
10 When David was told, "Uriah did not go home," he asked him, "Haven't you just come from a distance? Why didn't you go home?"
11 Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord's men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"
Next, he’s invited to a party to get him drunk, but he still refuses to go home to be with his wife.
12 Then David said to him, "Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13 At David's invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master's servants; he did not go home.
So the decision is finally made to kill the husband.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
15 In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
After the husband is killed, there is a cover-up.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle.
19 He instructed the messenger: "When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle,
20 the king's anger may flare up, and he may ask you, 'Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the wall?
21 Who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth ? Didn't a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?' If he asks you this, then say to him, 'Also, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.' "
22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say.
23 The messenger said to David, "The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance to the city gate.
24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king's men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead."
25 David told the messenger, "Say this to Joab: 'Don't let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.' Say this to encourage Joab."
26 When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
Change a few names and places and this story could be taken from events that take place today. There is really nothing new under the sun, including the decision to look the other way when it suits those in power.

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